The purpose of this research was to examine the role of agricultural experience as a vehicle which can support the development of learners in rural primary schools whose needs are extremely diverse, and whose life experience has been enriched by agricultural practice. This involved a review of literature which sought to investigate a \"new role\" for agriculture as a key element of primary schooling. In particular it examined from a conceptual point of view, and through the use of case studies from the literature, the capacity of agriculture to act as a familiar vehicle for the development of young rural learners' basic skills of literacy, numeracy, and other life skills which are perceived as necessary for a fruitful and productive life. The intention was not to explore issues relating to teaching agriculture as a distinct subject area in the curriculum.
In addition, case studies were carried out in four countries, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, India and Ethiopia. These countries were selected because of evidence that government policy was supportive of the concept of contextualisation, even though this might not be stated explicitly. Also, in each country, a co-researcher was identified who had published work, or had some expertise, relating to the basic ideas underlying the concepts of contextualised teaching and learning, and their contributions became a key element in this research project.
Educational Paper No. 20, DFID, London, UK, ISBN 1 86192 45 8, 64 pp. (Vol.1) and ISBN 1 86192 050 4, 130 pp. (Vol. 2.)